Writing is hard

Writing doesn’t come easily to me. Let me clarify what I mean by that. I love to write, and I have a fair amount of confidence in my skill with prose. I think I can write a nice sentence, and a nice paragraph, and a nice chapter, etc. And, I’m proud of my imagination, too. I love the ideas that come to me, and I love nurturing them along and spinning them into outlines and synopses. So on the one hand I love coming up with ideas. On the other hand, I love playing with language.

It seems like those two components should be all I need to write along in a dreamy, blissful fugue, spinning stories off my fingertips left and right. Right?

Wrong.

I am also afflicted with perfectionism. Sometimes I feel like Perfectionism should have its own entry in the DSM — it feels like a diagnosable psychological disorder to me! I get so very stuck sometimes. I become aware that a sentence or chapter is not rolling along as well as ever it possibly could, and that awareness sort of rears up and blocks out everything else. I become distressed and distracted by the imperfections to the extent I have to sort them out before I move forward with the story.

– Laini Taylor, Not For Robots

These could be my words.  And I could not write them better, so I am posting them as they fell from the lips of someone who has a really good handle on what writing really is.  The truth, as opposed to those fantasy pictures of the writer happily typing away in a garret somewhere, pulling out the final sheet with ‘The End’ written on it and merrily boxing the whole thing up and sending it to their publisher.

I’m posting this to remind myself, and any of you who might be struggling, that writing is hard.  And that some days it just sucks.  And that perseverance and stubbornness are some of your best buddies when you are facing the black hole that is your story.

But I love it.  Even on the bad days, I love it.  I complain sometimes about stopping, but I honestly don’t think I could.  There’s nothing else in the world that satisfies me more than writing.

No, not even chocolate.